Alipay, a mobile and online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), recently announced the launch of a new initiative to support digital technology innovation throughout Southeast Asia.
The Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge aims to identify and support the growth of start-ups in Southeast Asia that are using digital technology to build a more inclusive society.
Areas of focus include enabling low-income groups to gain access to better educational opportunities, supporting elderly individuals leverage digital technologies to enhance their lifestyle, and helping people with disabilities through upskilling and reskilling initiatives.
The inaugural Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge will take place in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Applicants can participate by registering online at www.alipaynusseachallenge.com. Applications will close in January 2019. The first round of judging will determine the top three winners within each country, who will each receive a cash prize of S$10,000 ($7,280). The nine finalists will then compete for the top cash prize of S$50,000 in the grand finale, to be held in Singapore in March 2019.
The winning teams will not only receive financial rewards to invest toward increasing their social impact, but also receive support to accelerate their growth through networks, mentorship and partnership opportunities with Ant Financial, NUS and other partners in the ecosystem. Top teams will also receive three-month incubation support by NUS Enterprise, as well as access to its BLOCK71 community and co-working space in Singapore, Bandung, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Suzhou and San Francisco.
A series of workshops and roadshows will be held in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, to build awareness of the challenge, encourage applications and support further growth for the participating teams. Alipay and NUS Enterprise will offer direct access to experts from different parts of the business, alongside other social entrepreneurs and established innovators, who will share their expertise and experiences.
In addition, the winners will become eligible for the 10x1000 Tech for Inclusion program jointly provided by International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Alipay.
The comprehensive training program will support the cultivation of 1,000 technology experts in emerging markets from both public and private sectors over the next 10 years. There will also be potential opportunities to work with Ant Financial and Alipay on CSR initiatives.
The article first appeared on eGov Innovation